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Kids Plant Community Forest to Offset Carbon Debt


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

31.05.2012

Kids Plant Community Forest to Offset Health Sector Carbon Debt

Marking World Environment Day, Wednesday 5th June, pupils from Bellevue School will gather at a new carbon forest site to plant manuka trees as part of the ‘Forests For Health New Zealand’ initiative led by OraTaiao: The New Zealand Climate and Health Council and the Sustainable Business Network. Local school kids will join with health workers and community to plant the first trees of a native forest that will regenerate wasted scrubland. The site, Waihinahina Park, adjoins the local marae, Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi, who are partners in the project.

www.forestsforhealthnz.org provides details of the forest.

This initiative, created in collaboration with the Sustainable Business Network and the ‘Trees for Survival’ trust, allows health professionals to pay online to offset their carbon emissions from unavoidable air travel, road travel, and electricity use. This money buys native trees for the carbon forest project managed by Wellington City Council and Ngā Hau e Whā o Paparārangi marae. A wholly collaborative and community vision also means volunteer group ‘Woodridge Planters’ provides planting expertise, with students from six local schools undertaking the planting.

Part of a worldwide movement of health professionals urgently focusing on the health challenges of climate change, OraTaiao is a local collective of senior doctors and health practitioners who are taking positive steps to combat the effects of climate change on population health. Recognising that the health sector contributes significantly to greenhouse gas emissions, OraTaiao have devised a way for health professionals to reduce their carbon footprint by growing trees in a dedicated carbon forest in Newlands, Wellington.

“The health sector consumes resources at a vast rate and has a sizeable carbon footprint. We are working with health workers to reduce their emissions - at work and also at home. ‘Forests for Health’ provides an opportunity to compensate for any unavoidable emissions” says local GP, Rebecca Randerson.

Dr George Laking from OraTaiao, says “trees absorb carbon emissions as they grow and tree planting is an internationally recognised way to remove excess carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas responsible for dangerous global warming”.

With a long-term planting vision, OraTaiao hopes support for this carbon forest will be adopted by many New Zealand health professionals and the hospitals and institutions they work in.

PHOTO OPPORTUNITY: Please join us to plant the first trees at the ‘Forests For Health New Zealand’ site at Waihinahina Park at the end of Ladbrooke Drive in Newlands, Wellington. We will be planting on the SouthEast side of the dog

exercise area from 12.45pm on World Environment Day, Wednesday 5th June.

ENDS

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